Month: March 2010

Get fabulous, one delightful cup of tea at a time

I’ve heard that there are some mythical women out there who are gorgeous, relaxed, happy, full of energy, with beautiful hair and nails, clear skin, and passionate sex lives. Oh, and who never have gas or constipation issues. If you are one of those women, you can skip to the next post, because this tea isn’t for you. For women like me, the kind who need a little help now and then, The Republic of Tea has created a collection of teas that addresses the needs of us mortal women. All 17 of the teas in the Be Well...

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Just because it’s a diaper bag doesn’t mean it can’t be grown up

Here’s why I hate most diaper bags: So many of them are made with the baby in mind, not the mama. They have ducks or sailboats on them, and they don’t have any place for your own gear. But Ellington’s Hannah tote, that’s different. It isn’t necessarily a diaper bag; it’s a tote, designed to carry files or a small laptop — or all the diaper gear and snacks and stuff that it takes to get out the door with a baby or toddler or kid of any age, really. The inside is divided by a zippered center pocket,...

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A basket of Easter gift ideas all under $15

Easter is coming up fast, landing on April 4th this year, meaning there may be quite a few collective gasps when the calendar is flipped to the next month. I know you may not have the time to leisurely shop for the perfect Easter basket items, so I’ve done a little hopping around to some of my favorite shops for you.   KangarooBoo has loads of neat Easter basket treats for little ones like the too-cute Skip Hop Funky Farm See Me Bunny Mirror and the wooden Threading Animal Rabbit by Estia (at top). If you are a game-loving...

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Peter Piper picked a peck of Pregnancy Pack pickles

Pregnant? You may not want to read this. Really. You might want to just step away from your computer. Because I’m about to write about pickles. And you know that as soon as you read about pickles, particularly these delectable artisan pickles from Rick’s Picks, that you’re going to want them. Like, right now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Rick’s Picks makes at least thirteen varieties of shelf stable pickles with clever names like Bee N Beez (bread and butters) and Spears of Influence, all packed by hand and made with natural and local (to New York) ingredients....

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Serve up this funny Passover book with a side of brisket

The concepts of freedom from slavery, plagues, and a 40-year exodus through the desert, may be just a tad advanced for most little kids celebrating Passover next week. But the idea of pitching in and helping others in something I hope is a fairly universal theme. In the Passover book The Little Ren Hen and the Passover Matzah, by Leslie Kimmelman and Paul Meisel, the classic tale of The Little Red hen is retold in a funny, wry, and decidedly Yiddish way. The illustrations are adorable, but the storytelling is where this children’s book is destined to become a...

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What makes these custom cards special is the person doing the customizing

The world of custom cards and invitations has really exploded. I’ve written about tons of great companies on Cool Mom Picks alone, so it’s really exciting when one still makes me go “Oooh!” Mango Ink cards are beautifully designed and printed, and because you get to work with a talented designer, your cards will turn out exactly how you imagined them. Only better. Mango Ink’s new line of custom folded cards are printed on  eco-friendly FSC-certified paper, and come in two styles: A classic one with an image printed then mounted on a lovely piece of heavy matte card...

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No ordinary Easter bunny for no ordinary kids

With Easter less than two weeks away, the bunnies are multiplying in every drugstore, supermarket and department store I visit. But, I don’t want to settle for some run-of-the-mill Easter basket bunny, so I’ve been on the lookout for something really special. Here are some of the fabulous options I found. The hand embroidered, monogrammed Eva Vorsmann Bunny (shown above) from Germany is more keepsake than teething toy, but I doubt you’ll be able to keep little hands from snuggling him just the same. Just wipe all the chocolate off them first. (shown above, $43 at Craftsbury Kids, allow...

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3floz.com – Globetrotter and glamour girl approved

There are so many reasons to love the webshop 3floz.com where every single luxury bath and body product is guaranteed to fit the TSA’s three fluid ounces rule. 1. You’re sick of traveling with your posh, organic moisturizer in a sandwich baggie.2. You’ve ever cried when the TSA confiscated your full-sized bottle of pricey shampoo.3. You don’t want to commit to a big bottle of anything until you know it works.4. You love cute, teeny tiny things in brightly colored tubes. You’ve heard about all the bath and beauty brands at the shop, because they’re celebrity faves and hard...

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A book of one’s own

As a former buyer of books for a chain of toy stores, it’s pretty much redundant for me to tell you that my children have amassed quite the library. But when you’re five (or, say, twenty-nine-and-a-half years older than five), you can sometimes be a little possessive of your precious books. Which is where the adorable bookplates from Zucchini and Co. could swoop in and save the day. This lovely etsy shop is one we found through our Valentine’s Day card contest – the owner was one of the talented winners. And these bookplates are absolutely perfect. Sold in...

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A good reason to Dwink up

I’m still not sure why parents with white couches and white carpets put juice boxes out at their children’s parties except maybe, they like a challenge? A few years back we discovered the awesome Dwink Boxes which keep kids from squeezing the middles and forcing all that lovely purple juice up the straw and onto everything. If you need an excuse to buy one, check out the new Special Edition Dwink Box just out today. The white color is sleek, and I love those raised bubbles. But more importantly, all of the net profits are being donated to the...

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A better way to put their heads on plates

Somehow I think my oft-repeated empty threat of serving my kids’ heads on a plate might have carried even less weight if we had owned had these adorable It Looks Like Me! personalized plates from Olliegraphic. Choose hair, eye and skin color, hairstyle, and (of course) add their name for the final touch. I can think of no small child who wouldn’t be utterly delighted to have a cherubic, cartoon version of themselves smiling up from underneath a variety of foods they’re probably planning to refuse. Note to Olliegraphic: Might want to consider adding in devil horns as an...

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Why you shouldn’t miss Ponyo or Hayao Miyazaki’s other family classics

I get to the movie theater about once a year, so it’s no surprise I totally missed Ponyo when it first came out. But ever since I heard the buzz around this animated film by Japan’s Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli, I’ve been waiting not-so-patiently for the home release. Now, having seen it, you can bet that I won’t miss his next one. Ponyo, which is loosely based on the original The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen (but not nearly as tragic), tells the story of a little fish who falls in love with a boy and...

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Smite those locusts!

Passover isn’t exactly the giftiest of holidays, although if you were invited to join us in devouring my mother’s matzoh ball soup, you’d think that was gift enough. Still, I’m intrigued with this adorable little 10 Plagues Bowling Set which comes in its own little drawstring bag. It could be a fun reward for finding the Afikoman, or simply an engaging way to help bring the Passover story’s big climax to life at the table, and keep the kids distracted if your Seders are on the long side. I’d imagine little kids (reco is 3+) will enjoy smiting those...

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The little desk set that could. And will.

There isn’t a single thing not to like about the functional design of these groovy desk/chair pairings from midesk, from their hand-crafted here in the USA wooden cut-outs to the non-toxic paints used to finish them. These desks are a marvel of storage — the chairs have two shelves tucked inside the base — and they’re sized just right for small scholars. On top of that, they take up remarkably little space, when the chairs are tucked neatly into the desks. So, sure, love them for all of that, but prepare to really love them: For every ten desks...

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And a very happy vernal equinox to you too

There were many moments over the past three months that I thought it would never happen but, at long last, spring is here. (Once again: SPRING IS HERE!) My girls and I celebrated yesterday with a trip to the small farmer’s market in our neighborhood, oohing and ahhing at the array of potted daffodils and begonias and tulips that colored the card tables. It reminded me that I need some new planters and vases. Something sunny and bright and optimistic and very very spring. I love these hand-finished, sculpted resin vases by Tina Frey Designs at Design Public,with their...

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Of finger foods, flip-tops, and fingernails

You know that whole “kill three birds with one stone” thing? Well, Zo-li, the small company offering safe, green solutions to parenting problems, has conveniently solved three of my biggest problems with one Fedex shipment. First of all, we have the Case of the Constant Snacker. My kid’s a bottomless pit, but we’re always on the road. Zo-li’s eco-friendly answer is the on-the-go, a cute and convenient 4-part snacking system that’s BPA and pthalate free and comes with an easy-pour spout for formula users. Retailing at $15, it also makes a great toy and one-at-a-time cereal dispenser when you’re...

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Tween cool, entirely 100% hoochie free

As the mother of a fashion-conscious tween, I am here to tell you that sizes 10-14 or so are a forgotten wasteland when it comes to outfitting your kid. Little kid clothes are plentiful and varied, but the choices taper off with each successive size. Most days I’m faced with the choice between Too Mature and Too Boring, with precious little in between. I tell you this to explain my elation over discovering Axl’s Closet, which not only stocks plenty of kid-approved options in the 8-14 age range, but does so from trendy labels that don’t succumb to skimpy...

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Easter baskets. Hold the cavities.

The biggest challenge I face every Easter is finding cool candy alternatives for my kids’ Easter baskets. But thanks to CMP fave boutique Cattiwampus, my search for sugar-free Easter gifts just got a little easier. Their virtual shelves are stocked full of awesome, eco-friendly gifts that won’t make your kiddos think twice about the lack of sugary goodness. In particular, I adore the the Stitch-It Bunny keyring kit (pictured) for the older set, from the always awesome Little Experience. This adorable DIY kit features pre-cut felt pieces and instructions, all of which your elementary aged kiddo can whip together...

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Down on the cardboard farm

My kids are still completely obsessed with the Calafant toys Santa left under the tree last year, which means I really shouldn’t be eying anything else at all. But considering the prices and the versatility of these cool, cardboard toys, I just can’t help myself. The newest addition to the Calafant family is the large farm toy, a European-inspired farm design that your kids can easily construct, decorate, and fill with all those little animals you’ve got stuffed in a toy bin somewhere. When they’ve gotten their fill of it – which around here is a pretty darn long...

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The Easter dresses of my dreams

This will be the first Easter in a very long time that we’ll actually be celebrating with extended family. Other than a plane flight with three young children (help!), the toughest item on my agenda will be tracking down cool Easter best clothes for my kids. In years past, I’ve gotten away with more casual attire on Easter, but if I had my druthers, my girls would be wearing Easter dresses from the gorgeous new spring line from CMP fave NoKo. I’m completely in love with the Nico dress (at top), particularly that stylish sash. It’s Easter-fancy but not...

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